The Easy Tease

The Easy Tease


An indie band with heavy folk influences notable for its theatric flair and unorthodox instrumentation. Sweet as pie without all those extra calories.


The burlesque indie-rock cabaret act, the Easy Tease, originated as the creative project of Maggie Carson (vocals/banjo) and Adam Janos (vocals/piano). The band's current line up also features Daniel Bieber (cello/vocals), and Michael Feld (drums/vocals). This instrumentation "makes for a bold sound, as plucked banjo is spiked with strident piano," tasteful percussion, and soaring cello (The Boston Globe). As this borscht bubbles, a unified sound is evoked - one both accessible and mysteriously original. Further spicing the band's stew are its bizarre skits. The band's most recent "Decision 2008" tour set consisted of 9 original songs from the upcoming album, along with several short theatric skits centered around the theme of electing a band president. These skits -- light, absurd, and pointedly impertinent to the American presidential race -- served as a vehicle to bring out the band's collective personality. From the moment the audience entered the house until the set's conclusion, their votes were pursued by the "candidates" via grandiose speeches, campaign songs, and vicious intra-band mudslinging. At the end of the night, votes were cast into the ballot box are tallied and the regions primary's delegates were allotted into the tour's overall election schema. To compliment the election aesthetic the band recorded their own YouTube Debates.

The Easy Tease was conceived in 2005 at Bard College, and took the act on the road the summer of 2006 before settling in New York City. The band has recently returned from their Central Time Zone tour which took them out to Texas and up to Minnesota, and has previously toured greater New England, South East Canada, the Mid-Atlantic Region and the Mid-West, playing venues ranging from small cafes, to large-scale music festivals, to divey bars and classy art centers.

After their 2006 tour the band released their first full-length album, the sardonically titled "Bold Displays of Cowardice" featuring the original lineup of Carson and Janos alongside Willis Crichton (drums/vocals) and Monroe Ellenbogen (trombone/vocals) - (The Chronogram: "an indie-rock record with a brave heart... the rhythmic variety is instantly likable"). The album has been aired on stations including NY/CT's Homegrown Radio NJ (WKZE 98.1), Public Radio for the Miami Valley (WYSO 91.3), and the college radio stations of the University of Rochester (88.5 WRUR) and Bard College (540 WXBC). The band is excited to go back into the studio this spring to begin work on their sophomore release with Philadelphia-based engineer Matt Sommer. The band's music, along with Janos's acting, are also featured in a comic video sketch entitled "No Dwelling" by the popular internet comedy troupe Olde English.


Two Shy Gnomes Sacrifice A Fieldmouse

Written By: Carson/Janos

Thunder claps and we shriek out loud
quick laugh then the heart slows down
no map so we're soaking out
find me cover, learn-ed lover

Raise a glass if you're thirsty now
composure breaks like an icy crowd
I've braved your face with a small-talk shroud
you never smother, always hover.

You're small
You're slow
You won't
I'm tall
I will
I'll fail, but you won't try and

Our god
He's mad
You said
You'll kill
I'll skin
Mess made, but at least we're bringing something back.

And you growl
and i growl
and we've been knifing it to hell

And its still
so you smile
cause its so beautiful and clean

Like your mom
or your thumb
that you had sucked when you were young

And you growl
and i growl
and grass has never looked this green.

Two shy gnomes cannot desecrate
things so high up on the altar they can't reach.

Come one, come all
going down to the city where the old kids go
where the rain never shine and the shine never snow
come one, come all

Final Thoughts

Written By: Carson/Janos

Sure it's a secret but I guess I can tell you
All of the things that you know that I've wanted to
When I am gone you can bury my body
Or scatter my ashes blown away through and through

They'll split up my property
It's not much I guarantee
Just forget this legacy

Charles gets the house
he's the oldest a bachelor
Jim gets the car
He's a born wanderer
Anne gets my wedding ring solid gold band
Wore it my whole life on my left hand

Maybe a month now, that's what the doctor said
Said it's a fever and try to stay in your bed
If they ask questions tell them to talk to me
I'll say don't worry I'll say everything will be

The Gravity

Written By: Carson/Janos

When the world spins around in a plastic ball
and you don't look big and you feel real small
you turn around and you say no stopping here

your feet start running and your heart starts churning
look over your shoulder smell something burning
tell a different story when it's your house comming down

step by step your running away
just stay quite ain't got nothing to say in your defense, in your defense
keep your gaze straight don;t turn around
everything falling, tumbling to the ground, to the ground
all I got are these little legs
I was never much of a renegade until now, until now

forces pull and forces tear
in this world how does one fare
when things just give up just give up the buck

so your feet stop running
and your heart stops churning
feel like quitting but the world keeps turning
with or without you so take my hand again

Keep yourself afloat with a war
Just another knock at the door
Tally up your thoughts like a chore
Everyone's abrasive and worn

Chase a shot with laughs out of place
Drama shows in lines on your face
People here so quick to replace
Underwhelming stress make you bold
Observation takes leaps of faith
following the breaths that we bate
nothing said was said by mistake
convoluted thoughts leave me cold

Walking backward gives you away
Being this alert makes me 'fraid
I can see the words that you made
you were just a quote, you were just a quote

Frozen to the ground

You collapse I remain you collapse

Everything's fallen down

Shipwrecked or Stories of Bad Luck and Rain

Written By: Carson/Janos

When our ship sank off this island's rocky shore
You said who could ask for more I'm alive
I'm alive or so you tell me now although I often question how you would know

Two of us survived that night our lady crashed
I thought they build that ship to last bad luck and rain
The sky turned red and the sea granted us mercy
Now I question if I'm worthy cause a captain should sink with his ship
And the stowaway should never have been on this trip

Oh Marie if you could hear my story though it don't say much for glory just for rain
Lacking fare I took my chances with crime
Just surviving is my past time
The Captain should have sunk with his ship
and the stowaway, I should never have been on this trip

In between life and death here, In between sleep and rest
here, tread above the rising tide...

I grab a plank and hope starts drowning
Everything I knew was lost and squandered
Never had a home so I'm never going home again
I drowned some
I lost my love but things will be fine now
I like the beach and I like the mountains
Never had wealth but now I'm got an island, island island...

Back of the Bus

Written By: Carson/Janos

I'm an actor and you watched me cobble a face.

I split you wince you weave I'm evil
said we were building up to no upheavals
quick retrievals and there's constant gauntlets
running like the back of a song

I drop you mop and we're filling it up
I push you up to the back of the bus
and say I'm evil
but I've lost it all so I loop into the front of the chain

I'm an actor and you watched me cobble a face

I churn you out when you're whipping it up
I plant I breathe but you run on diesel
makes me feeble, cough spit
clear out the taste then I take another sip of the same
I freeze you out but you're running on flames
I torch your porch but you say i'm evil
that's not feasible
so i grasp your rap and I answer with a stare in the face

So go as you own and you won't sleep with a cross to bear and you're
praying down below because God's at the top of the stairs but
and everything's thrown away so we build institutions (and I said)
abstract acronyms can only serve a purpose
when they're built on loose prerogatives and convoluted notions
and I was faithful to these shackled institutions
but now I'm falling hard and I can't seem to control myself

Fluid in motion yes we were fluid in motion
Up for sale but i was coming from another one
up for sale and baby everything was way out of range

I rake you up from the back of the bus
my thoughts get lost and i'm jumbling up
you say i'm leavable
then i drop the cup and i take another sip of your face.

I'm an actor and you watched me cobble a face.

Road Rage

Written By: Carson/Janos

I've just got to make this light
Oh I've just got to make this light

Feels like I'm standing still
Driving was once a thrill
Relative motion discovered us an instilled
Some silly trick
Now they call me manic
When I cry

Sure my car's fine
Sure I've got time
Guess I'm inclined
To speeding through yellow lights
When I think no one's looking

I've done this a million times
Taking the beeline
And speeding through stop signs
You hardly can call these crimes
So I won't stop
Unless there's a cop
Then I'll cry...

Sir, you see
I'm not guilty
I'd drive slowly
If you let me explain
I was speeding up to change lanes

I've just got to make this light
Oh I've just got to make this light

Blank Rages

Written By: Carson/Janos

Blank rages,
I'm a stain on a page just like you.
I say this
because everything else would sound cruel.
And this coffee
in a diner that feels like a dream.
Do you feel like a dream?
Should I cry for you?

When you start to fly do you dip do you dive do you swoop too close to the ground?
When you start to sing do you miss do you swing do you keep yourself from the crowd?
I've been here so long I can hear a song that makes me think of this place.
I've been here so long I've been here so long I've been here so long I'm erased.

And the dawn never comes.
And the dawn never comes.
And I'll burn to the ground
what you've left around.

Blank rages,
there's a stretch mark upon your leg.
I say this
because you speak so above my head.
And this last year
I have spent so much time on my own
and you feel like home.
Would you be my home?

F-A-C-E saving what you gotta believe.
Take me for a bottle and I'll pull you out the back of my sleeve.
Sex and famine every minute that you're digging a grave.
Tell me that I'm hollow and I'll tell you that I need to be saved.


"Somber Thoughts For Millionaires" (2009) - LP
"Untitled" [Cricket] (2008) - 4-Track EP
"Bold Displays of Cowardice" (2006) - LP
"too little too late" (2006) - 5-Track EP

Set List

The Easy Tease typically plays one 45-minute performance. These sets usually feature nine to eleven songs, and two or three theatrical interludes. A sample set would be as follows (dramatic interludes listed in brackets):

Two Shy Gnomes Sacrifice a Fieldmouse
Final Thoughts
Father's Sonata
[Monroe and Maggie Break Up]
Blizzard A-Comin'
The Headless Horseman Rides Again
Back of the Bus
[Adam's Most Embarassing Memory]
Blank Rages
Shipwrecked or Tales of Bad Luck and Rain
[Willy Threatens to Quit the Band]
Vagabond's Lament
[Closing Credits]